Mariano Rivera apologizes to Astros; says Yankee Stadium ending was too perfect
Mariano Rivera just closed his playing career with yet another classy gesture, apologizing to the Astros organization, players and fans for not participating in this season-ending three game series at Minute Maid Park.
“I want to make sure to apologize to the Houston Astros players and the great fans in Houston, because I couldn’t compete my last three days of the season,” he said. “I apologize for that.
“I want to leave with the game I played at Yankee Stadium on Thursday — I want to keep that memory of mine. For that, I apologize. You guys deserved more, but I’m being a little selfish.”
Rivera was honored in a pre-game ceremony here in Houston, one attended by former Yankees manager Joe Torre as well as Rivera’s former teammate Roger Clemens. The Astros presented Rivera with a 13-panel painting by a local artist, depicting moments from Rivera’s life, including a scene of a fisherman and his son on a boat in Panama.
In his brief remarks, Torre said, “You don’t get the chance to manage 12 years for George Steinbrenner unless you have someone like this coming out of the bullpen.”
Clemens added: “We’re going to miss that cool jog coming in from center field. There’s not too many sure things in this world.”
On Saturday, Rivera announced that he did not plan to play in this series, saying that the Yankee Stadium ending had been too perfect. He also revealed that he has been dealing with soreness in his right forearm and right knee for quite some time.
Rivera and Andy Pettitte brought out the lineup card for the Yankees. Manager Joe Girardi said before the game that he’d ask Rivera and Pettitte if they wanted to manage the game; it looks like they might accept that offer.